LET US INTRODUCE OURSELVES

 

 VALENTINO VELASQUEZ  

After a half-year’s stint in the illegal refugee-camp at Calais in the north of France and the experiences I gained there, continued study was no longer an option for me. To break off my studies and commit myself to helping those who haven’t been lucky enough to be born in Europe seemed self-evident to me. Some will probably accuse me of a certain naivety, to put my stable education at risk in this way. However, faced with the people who have put their lives at risk in search of a dignified existence, I feel myself responsible. In order to help these people sustainably and meaningfully, Valentina, David and I brought the association ‘Be A Robin‘ into being. Since then we have been developing continuously and have been lucky enough to welcome new Robins into our ranks – what about you?

 VALENTINA BELLO  

In April 2016 I followed my good friend Valentino to the refugee camp in Calais, in the north of France. I had already had the opportunity to contribute as a volunteer in other contexts, but as far as the refugee crisis in Europe was concerned I was feeling helpless until then. Once I had dared to take the first step everything seemed simple and natural. With Be A Robin I wanted to create a metaphor in order to break down this difficult task with which Europe is faced to the level of the possible, in terms of contributing actively in the face of this crisis. My experiences in the camp in Calais encouraged me, for one, to start a course in International Relations at the University of Geneva. From then on I have been supporting our Robins from here, and handle smaller projects particularly close to my heart or the individual support of refugees with whom I am acquainted.

DEBORA SUTER

  I got to know Be A Robin through Valentino, and joined the organisation last winter. Shortly after I travelled to Greece for the first time. On top of my studies in History and German Literature at the University of Zurich, I want to engage with refugees. I travelled to Greece again in the summer of 2017 with the other Robins, in order to work with the people who were and still are stranded there.

MERET BALMER  

After contributing as a volunteer at temporary refugee accommodation in Berlin, and learning about the fates of the people there, upon returning to Zurich I wanted to carry on doing my bit. At the Kick Off event of Be A Robin these plans solidified and I joined the trip to Thessaloniki. In the summer of 2017 I once more operated in Greece for Be A Robin with Debora and Valentino, offering beach trips to refugee families of the area.   I study Ethnology and Media Sciences at the University of Zurich. 

JULIA SENN

I joined Be a Robin in October 2017 after having been  part of the Be a Robin Zurich team.  We offered many different activities to refugees in the city during the long summer holiday. What I like about the work is the possibility it offers people to experience the city I grew up in and that it allows me to help introduce newcomers to the way of life in Switzerland. I am currently studying Art History and Photography at the University of Zurich. 

LAURA KNEZEVIC

Migration and integration have always been topics in my family. After the Refugee crisis in Europe hit its peak in the fall of 2015 however, I saw it as my duty to reach out to people in need of help in Zurich. To help them find a way into their new life here, just like my parents and grandparents had to find theirs. Whenever I'm not organizing activities with the Robins, I work as a Kindergarten teacher and am currently studying to become a licensed "DaZ"- teacher (German as a second language).